Matt Pittman

Matt Pittman

Wasatch & Western Rivers

Matt Pittman's Passions

Biking

Matt Pittman's Bio

Boston native (aggressive driver, foul mouth) turned Midwest Hoosier (corn fed) prior to being adopted by the Wasatch and surrounding rivers.

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on February 8, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

I gave these as a gift to a buddy and he reported back that the product has been great. Wasatch skin tracks can be steep, so the extra rise is appreciated and the dual options were very well received. Great product, great local company - installs relatively easy too.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on February 8, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The problem with going out in the winter is that your bag takes up a ton of valuable pack space. If you don't want to carry around a tower of power, pick up a compression sack for your bag and down clothing. I have found the Sea to Summit eVent sacks to work the best for burly 4 season bags. They can be tricky to size, but work really well to help you save space. If using a Gore shelled bag, stuffing inside out helps a ton. Handy option and easy to size up and stuff in your extra clothes and/or down clothing for the end of the day. Durability has proven itself following many trips when cranking the compression straps down to save a few extra inches seemed like it might stress the straps/stitching, no failures. Great for winter bags, but also tight spaces like small/lighter packs, drift boat dry storage bins and easily compresses down a down jacket and gloves to fit into your touring pack for those longer days (or longer stops).

(1)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on February 8, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I have beat up feet and lots of broken toes, so rubbing is common. These socks are great liners for longer days in ski boots, touring boots or when flyfishing - when your feet can get wet and regular socks can bunch up. Keeps my toes from rubbing and blistering and light enough to layer or wear alone on warmer days. They stay put, don't wear out easily and aside from getting them on (which can take a moment) a great way to keep my gnarled toes comfortable.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on February 8, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

GSI makes some really cool/handy products and this flask is no exception. It holds an entire fifth and we used several this last weekend for an event in CO. Easy to fill, no leaks and rolls down really light/small when done - way easier than bringing bulkier bottles. The only downside could be getting them completely dry for storage/next use. It definitely takes some time to get all the water out and recommend hanging upside down for a long period of time to avoid any stank build up. Just a touch of soap and a few quick shakes and it cleans up very quick. Outstanding cap/lid and the material takes a marker really well if you need to label/differentiate between your libations. Another great GSI product!

(2)

 

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on February 2, 2016

Best of the Best
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you are unfamiliar with Hilleberg tents, chances are you have never been at altitude, on a glacier and/or to a pole. These things pop up in the harshest environment in the world due to uncompromised craftsmanship and a family dedicated to making the best tents in the world. Founded in 1971, the Hilleberg family revolutionized all season tents with the creation of Kerlon fabric (6x stronger than any other tent fabric). With their Kerlon fabrics and 9mm or 10mm poles, Hilleberg tents are some of the lightest and strongest tents on the market.
The Nallo 3GT is constructed with their Kerlon 1200 fabric and 9mm poles coupled with all season construction. Too many stand alone features to differentiate, but some key attributes include: outer tent walls extend to the ground, linked/spate inner and outer tents for simultaneous pitching, massive vestibules, outstanding venting, pole sleeves and color coded poles, flat fell-seams (4 layers deep), attached/pre rigged guy lines (simply will not find better guy lines anywhere), adjustable pole tensioners, locking zippers, etc... These tents are absolute fortresses and weigh half of other 'like' tents. The Nallo 3GT (with absolutely everything that comes with it, ex: 20 v-peg stakes) weighs in at 6.13 pounds, easy to get that weight down to just under 6lb's. It boasts 36.6 ft of inner tent and 29 ft of vestibule space. Ditch the BD Megamid and use the vestibule as your hang out/cook tent as it is easy to dig out a bench and hole up in a storm. Tunnel tents can be challenging to pitch, at first, but offer outstanding space with plenty of sidewall and head room making this tent feel big. Ditch the inner tent, if conditions warrant, or replace the inner tent with an all mesh option for warmer climates/conditions. With all winter tents, a 3 person rating means comfortable for 2 but suitable for 3, but the tail end of this tent measures 50 inches, so big pads may get stacked up.
Set up, once practiced, is efficient and due to the linked inner/outer tents, keeps the inside out of the elements. Simply unfurl and stake out the two end points (either front or back) and pull out the remainder of the tent and stake down the opposite end. From there, it is following Hilleberg's simply pole configuration/color coded system and properly guying out the tunnel tent. If going on the snow, you will definitely not find a better snow anchor stake than their own snow and sand pegs (huge, light and pre-rigged) that are outstanding deadman.
Extra's include: full pole section to combat a break, high bathtub floor, attached internal guy line, plenty of pocket space, fabric backed mesh doors, dual entrances and configurations, enormous vents that can be closed with a snow-proof panel, looped guy lines and the ability to wrap around the pole to increase stability/strength, zipper flaps (keep elements off the zippers)...
Need more proof, Eric Larsen used their one pole Akto tent during a solo cycle to the South Pole. Check out the heritage and legacy associated with Hilleberg and start comparing features, weight, durability and you start to notice why they are pricey.
Go to www.hilleberg.com and sign up to get some test swatches of their Kerlon fabric and test it against common fabrics used across the industry. Their site leaves absolutely no questions and contains all the videos and reviews necessary from pitching, setting up a deadman, practical tips, choosing the right tent, equipment lists and all the FAQ's you can think of - no secrets, just an outstanding company and equally impressive product. Space is almost up, I cannot say enough about this company and their tents - absolutely the best!

Photos are of the Nallo 3GT set up facing Wheeler Peak.

(1)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I picked this up for my wife who always seems to be searching for a blanket or jacket at the end of the day. Our other blankets try to put up a fight against our two dogs hair, but it isn't really much of an option. This has a great DWR/Ripstop treatment that fends off drool, hair and the occasional oops when dealing with a cocktail or two year old. Packs up, relatively, small and is full size. We have used this as a picnic blanket, at tailgates, at home and look forward to using it as a comforter this summer while camping. Warm and comfortable and has stood up to some abuse. If it slides of the couch, our dogs are asleep on it when we come home and a quick flip releases the hair and/or a quick wash/dry cleans it right up. Plenty long so two can share without the pulling/stealing that happens to most of us when our significant other needs to pull it up around their neck/shoulders. Great product and a great gift idea.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Underwear is underwear, right... Wrong! Nothing worse than constantly fighting with your 'draws' weather riding up your leg and/or finding a dark corner to rerack. Saxx uses bamboo and spandex to create a really comfortable compromise between a boxer and a brief. Everything stays put and there is plenty of movement and moisture control. Perfect for everyday wear, but these excel during any activity where your breathing may get heavy. Tons of options, but each pair provides plenty of comfort and plenty of stretch. Easy to go for a different option given the price, but Saxx makes an outstanding product that is durable and reliable, should be no problem outlasting other boxer shorts regardless of how often you wear/wash these shorts. Great fit and semi easy to use fly.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

It isn't always necessary to wear a ton of layers below the belt and I find these shorts coupled with a taller ski sock to be perfect for warmer days under a light softshell when skiing/touring. Great Merino/Lycra blend, very comfortable and irritant free seams. No chaffing here and very efficient insulation without sponging up sweat when your breathing gets heavy. I look forward to using these on cooler days when wading or around the fire when you need just a little more warmth. Easy to couple these with a full length long john if you need a little extra warmth for the chairlift and they layer easily without bunching. Icebreaker makes a great product and this is a nice option to have and regulates temperature and moisture very well.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

OK, not really as these cannot compete with a hot cup of coffee and a stroopwafel in the morning, but you may be able to convince yourself otherwise on an early morning tour. Keep one in your pocket and it is a nice treat as you need a few calories on your way up the skin track. Very slim/light and just enough taste/sweetness along with 160 calories to keep you going. I like all the flavors, but usually prefer to grab a Gingersnap or Vanilla if given a choice. Slip one in a pocket, fishing vest or jacket and you have a quick and easy to digest snack for the day ahead.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 31, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A great alternative to sports drinks when you just want a light flavor vs plain old H2O. I have been enjoying the Lemon Tea this winter and is much more pleasant than I expected. Not too sweet and very easy to mix with just a few stirs or shakes in the bottle. I think this would be a great option to mix in with filtered/boiled water when backpacking/fishing as it has worked great from the tap and/or when melting snow this winter. Easy going flavor with some additional nutritional value that doesn't taste like someone dumped a Fun Dip into your bottle.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I picked up the large and on second thought, should have grabbed the more streamlined Comfort Plus as the Rectangle is huge. I am 6'3 and this thing is plenty long/wide, maybe too much, but the weight and pack size are relatively similar. I have had many years of comfort and reliability out of my Big Agnes Q Core and will still rely on it, but the ease of inflation/deflation/packing make this pad worth it. The pad inflates much quicker than most with a few deep breathes into each chamber. In cold weather, I try and use a corner of a base layer to reduce moisture being blown into the pad and no issues quickly inflating so far. The face fabric and air cells make for a comfortable and (mostly) silent sleeping surface. Still 'crunchier' than the Q Core, but much, much less than a Thermarest or similar winter pads using a reflective material. Sea to Summit's Exkin reflective material seems to work well and the pad provides similar insulation, and comfort, with a slightly slimmer build. The R Value of 5 is accurate and I have used this a few times directly on the snow without noticing any cold spots. This pad (Long) is really long and wide (79x25) so it is really comfortable if you are long/broad, but it would eat up a ton of space in a smaller 4 season tent. All in all, much quicker to inflate (about 50% vs my Q Core) and much, much quicker to deflate/fold/pack - not even close when compared to the Q Core. That said, I find the raised edge of the Q Core coupled with the design/support to be much more comfortable on an old/broken back. I would probably take the Q Core on trips where camp doesn't move and the Comfort Plus on outings where a quick set up/tear down is needed. Sea to Summit's 31.5 oz's and packed size may not be for the fast and light crowd, but the warmth/comfort and ease of use make it difficult to choose against.

(2)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is a great hat as it sits down low and fully covers the back of your head and your ears. If you have a big nugget, this hat provides great coverage. Great to have a brim for those days when the sun is shining and/or the snow is falling. Easy to stuff in a pack, pocket or your car for breaks and/or end of the day when a warm/dry hat makes a big difference. I have used this on overnights and in my sleeping bag as it is not too snug and found it to be really comfortable all night long. Just something a little different that you don't see everyone else wearing.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Everyone already knows it, but a review regardless - these straps are perfect in your ski pack, fish pack, car, camping quiver, etc. They don't freeze, bind, break and pack up easily. I have one on my ski rack and it has replaced the base unit for over 3 years in the desert sun and winter cold without fail. Always a reliable backup in case a ski buckle breaks in the backcountry, you need to strap on additional gear to a pack or a quick holster for a fly fishing net. Pick some up and see how fast you find uses for them.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Picked up a second WindBurner Pot to go with the base unit when out with friends/family. Have used it on the river this winter during cold days to warm up - nice to have a secondary unit to brew up and share vs splitting up. Has been perfect for a quick hit of tea, coffee, ramen, etc. to stave off the cold.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 21, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

This is a great read and the photography and history re Alta is fantastic. A great option for someone who loves to ski and has everything they need. Learn a little history about one of the greatest ski resorts in the US. Snowboarders, you know you want to pick it up too - don't be proud, this is a great read with outstanding photography and experiences inbounds/outabounds at Alta.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 21, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Just replaced a homemade option with the Trillium and it has worked well with the Reactor and WindBurner stoves. Perfect for snow, but you can always get by without one. Have used a few times with a pole shelter (Hoopla by Mtn Hardwear) and it works great as a base in snow to keep a pole from sinking in. Very basic, very light and additional uses help justify bringing it along. Also works great to help stabilize on a drift boat or any other time you need to quickly heat up a stove in uneven terrain.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 21, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have been using the Reactor for several years without complaint, extremely durable and has always come through. I wanted a smaller/individual option and picked up the WindBurner vs a JetBoil. After several uses, it follows the Reactor in a smaller/lighter package. Perfect for melting snow, cooking Ramen and morning oatmeal/coffee. Great lid, works in the wind (as is/no screen), nice as a cup and a hanging kit is available. Durable and light, easy to slip into a pack and brew up hot drinks during a tour or a long day out in the snow and/or on a drift boat. Boils fast/efficient which saves time and gas. Opt for a smaller canister and take advantage of this stoves efficiency. Looking forward to more extended use but I am very pleased with this purchase.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Matt Pittman

Matt Pittmanwrote a review of on January 21, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Size Purchased: XL

True, Patagonia T's are expensive but the damn things refuse to die. I have some that my wife finally made me recycle and they continue to live on as a dog/car/drift boat/camping shams. They take an insane amount of use, wear/tear, washing's, etc. before showing any signs of age. I have found that the first few wash cycles on cold followed by an air dry and short fluff in the dryer helps lock in the size/shape and then do whatever the hell you want to them. I wear these all the time and always have one on the boat and in my tent for after the day is done. A nice/soft cotton shirt is really appreciated at days end when all you want is to be dry, warm and comfortable while sipping a cocktail around the fire. Walk into any fly shop or guiding service and it is common to see previous generations (colors, logos, graphics) still in use by folks who are notoriously hard on gear. Feel good about spending a little on a product that has an outstanding heritage and a legacy of environmental and social responsibility!

(1)

 

0 Comments